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Dragon Tree Soak Nature Reserve

2 Reviews
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Dragon Tree Soak Nature Reserve

2 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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180 Km South-East of Broome, Broome, Western Australia 6725 Australia
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HappyBuddha247 wrote a review Oct 2017
Melbourne, Australia412 contributions116 helpful votes
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Dragon Tree Soak Nature Reserve covers an area of around 18,000 hectares and is located in the northwest of Western Australia. It is an extremely remote area where no access roads currently exist. Access is gained only by arduous cross country travel across the dune fields and soak pans of the Great Sandy Desert. At its closest point, the reserve is 210km east of the Great Northern Highway. Dragon Tree Soak is a swamp believed to be a relic of the riverine vegetation found along the Mandora Palaeoriver during its partial rejuvenation by the wetter climates of the early to mid Holocene Epoch (It is generally accepted that the Holocene started approximately 12,000 years BP (before present day. The period follows the Baltic-Scandinavian Ice Age). The swamp supports beds of bullrush (Typha domingensis) and is surrounded by a low woodland of White Dragon Trees (Sesbania formosa); these and other plants are markedly confined to the Soak. It is used by birds from the surrounding hummock grasslands but also has species generally associated with scrub or tree-lined watercourses elsewhere. Species not recorded elsewhere in the region but present in the Typha beds were the Clamorous Reed-Warbler and the Australian crake. The soak includes a freshwater spring, a permanent freshwater marsh and peatland4. It has an area of 5 ha (main water area: 1 ha). It forms an oasis supporting plants and animals that are absent or scarce elsewhere in the desert.
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Date of experience: July 2017
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JGDynamo wrote a review Sep 2016
Canada2,172 contributions2,713 helpful votes
My wife’s great uncle helped survey the area years ago and spoke of the wildlife that lives there relatively untouched due to it being very hard to access except by air, on the Edgar Range Track by determined 4X4 with plenty of time and supplies on hand or on mining shotlines which can be dodgy. My wife being an bird enthusiast wanted to see if we could get out there to check the different types of birds that may be endemic to the area or just to check out the calm remote location but not take a week to get there and back. A friend of ours in the RAAF told me of “a guy who knows a guy” in the area south of Broome who may be able to assist us in getting there by air. It sounded dodgy and like it would be a dead end but we contacted him and he agreed to take us out there as his family still claims a mining right in the area. We met “Guy” south of Roebuck, we got in his vehicle and drove an hour towards Gingerah where he and his mates have a helicopter. He flew us the 150km landing just outside of Dragon Tree Soak National Preserve and we had to walk 1km across scrub to get to the park proper. We were at the north end with the lake (? pond, swamp) numerous birds and camels which we were not expecting. I know the wild camels exist in the outback but to see about 6 of them close by made us feel like we were on another continent. We were thrilled by the wildlife although it was not as much as I thought might be there, more like the savannah than an oasis but all represented in the park as we have heard. We took lots of pics in our time there, with lots of colours and endemic species (we took the pics, the enthusiasts will look through the pics and let us know what we saw) and we would have liked to have had more time. Hiking around was magnificent as well as I’m sure we were the only people within a 200+miles radius which makes it feel like that much more of an adventure. Guy allowed us most of the day exploring, we had our compass and GPS to get back to the chopper and it was a scenic sunset flight back towards Gingerah and then camped at his property near Roebuck. A fascinating place if you can get there, I hear it can be an adventure all its own going in by 4X4, like 5 days in and 5 out depending what you want to see and do and whether your vehicle gets stuck. Next time around we may be that adventurous or maybe just contact our man with the chopper to get us in and out again.
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Date of experience: September 2016
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